Definition of exploit in English:

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Pronunciation: /ikˈsploit/
[with object]
1Make full use of and derive benefit from (a resource): 500 companies sprang up to exploit this new technology
More example sentences
  • It claims entitlement to an unspecific open-ended incentive derived from exploiting a natural resource.
  • He said that it was like the old colonial attitude of exploiting a resource in an area but bringing the benefits back home to the ‘motherland’.
  • Some other countries exploiting their mineral resources are setting aside money to prepare for the day when the oil runs out.
utilize, harness, use, make use of, turn/put to good use, make the most of, capitalize on, benefit from
informal cash in on
1.1Use (a situation or person) in an unfair or selfish way: the company was exploiting a legal loophole accusations that he exploited a wealthy patient
More example sentences
  • That would eliminate some of the loopholes exploited by large, wealthy factory farms.
  • He feels commercial interests are exploiting the situation and selling parents the idea that they can buy things to substitute for time with their children.
  • With five minutes left the visitors had exploited the situation to score two converted tries to cut RI's lead to eight points.
1.2Benefit unfairly from the work of (someone), typically by overworking or underpaying them: making money does not always mean exploiting others
More example sentences
  • Nobody complained that the international capitalists were exploiting the workers.
  • Thirdly, the reason why the capitalist can exploit workers is simply because they have power over them.
  • The capitalist system exploits people everywhere.
take advantage of, abuse, impose on, treat unfairly, misuse, ill-treat
informal walk (all) over, take for a ride, rip off


Pronunciation: /ˈekˌsploit/
1A bold or daring feat: the most heroic and secretive exploits of the war
More example sentences
  • It was from here that Captain James Cook, a local lad, set sail around the globe, inflaming every schoolboy's passion for adventure with his daring exploits.
  • Though they claim he supports the insurgency because of his ideological opposition to the occupation, they soon lapse into talk of daring criminal exploits.
  • In mythology and legend, a man, often of divine ancestry, is endowed with great courage and strength, celebrated for his bold exploits, and favored by the gods.
2A software tool designed to take advantage of a flaw in a computer system, typically for malicious purposes such as installing malware: if someone you don’t know tweets you a link, it’s either spam, an exploit, or probably both
More example sentences
  • The compromised website hosted an exploit which then allowed malware to be installed on these laptops.
  • Exploit bundles are usually installed in hosting servers.
  • Once the website is visited, the modified exploits will affect the system software and additional malware will get deployed.



Pronunciation: /ikˈsploidəb(ə)l/
Example sentences
  • Money is raised chiefly by publicising highly exploitable incidents, often of lawbreaking.
  • He said: ‘It's absolutely outrageous, it is feeding on people who are exploitable.’
  • If there is exploitable gas, then they will speak to us again in due course about bringing it ashore.


Pronunciation: /ikˈsploidər/
Example sentences
  • With this concern have come the unending droves of promoters, frauds, and exploiters who traditionally prey upon the naive and trusting.
  • For much of the film it is hard to see him as anything but a shallow, pretentious exploiter thinking only of his own pleasure.
  • A vast majority of people supported his government's policy, and ‘only a handful of exploiters are opposing a decision that has been taken in the best national and international interest’, he asserted.


Middle English: from Old French esploit (noun), based on Latin explicare 'unfold' (see explicate). The early notion of 'success, progress' gave rise to the sense 'attempt to capture', 'military expedition', hence the current sense of the noun. Current verb senses (mid 19th century) are taken from modern French exploiter.

Words that rhyme with exploit

adroit, dacoit, Detroit, doit, droit, maladroit, quoit

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: ex·ploit

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